A NUISANCE tenant who nearly burnt down his council flat when he passed out drunk while frying chicken is facing eviction.
A closure order was granted last week for Dean Spencer's flat in Miles Court, Cuthbert Road after magistrates were told it was a persistent source of antisocial behaviour.
Neighbours reported how Spencer, 52, would invite "street drinkers" back to his flat and were subjected to a tirade of abuse when they confronted him.
The problems peaked in July when there was a serious fire at the property after Spencer passed out drunk while frying chicken, causing considerable smoke damage to the kitchen.
One of Spencer's neighbours, a wheelchair-bound 83-year-old woman, told the court the noise from his flat caused her serious health concerns, and that on two occasions she had to be rushed to hospital to be resuscitated.
Another witness said Spencer and his friends would cause "bedlam" and described the sleepless nights suffered as a result as "total purgatory".
The three month closure order, which makes it a criminal offence to enter or stay in the property, was made by Croydon Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, August 20, allowing the council time to repossess it and try to evict Spencer permanently.
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: "Dean Spencer's neighbours have been through hell. The suffering they had to put up with was completely unacceptable, and nobody should have to tolerate this kind of behaviour.
"They should be applauded for having the bravery to testify in court, which enabled the council to secure this result.
"It now means peace and order can be restored, and serves as a warning to others who engage in antisocial behaviour, that we will come down hard on you and see that you're removed from your home."